SC takes out time for important contempt cases against comedians doing comedy

Contempt of court notices issued to comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja.

Credit : Bar and Bench

The Supreme Court of India, on Friday, issued contempt of court notices to comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja. They have been asked to respond to the notices in six weeks. They have, however, been exempted from personal appearances. The Court has asked both Kamra and Taneja to explain why contempt action should not be taken against them.

A few days ago, Kamra was faced with contempt of court after his tweets following the grant of interim bail to Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. However, Kamra had made it clear that he would neither retract his tweets, nor apologise to the apex court. In fact, he had also suggested to the Court a list of cases that needed its immediate attention, instead of him.



Cartoonist Taneja also received attention after her caricatures on her handle Sanitary Panels about the judiciary, with reference to Goswami’s case. Her caricature was widely circulated and appreciated on social media, but also received criticism from some. 

Attorney General KK Venugopal gave consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Kamra as well as Taneja a few weeks ago.

Interestingly, right-wing blogger Shefali Vaidya too had posted a tweet similar to that of Kamra’s after Goswami was earlier denied bail by the Bombay High Court, wherein she had written “India doesn’t have a justice system. What we have is a joke!” While Vaidya later deleted the tweet, Twitterati had questioned why Vaidya’s tweet has been spared, while Kamra is facing contempt of court.

A couple of months ago, the Supreme Court had slammed contempt charges on senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his tweets against the judiciary.